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It is time to forgive WOTC and get back onboard.

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I mean, the metaphor has the problem that there is no agreement that it would actually be illegal - the opinions of duffers on the internet are not the law, and there was no consensus among the legal experts among us.

Would it have been a jerk move? Yes, sure. Would it have caused financial harm? Probably. But that doesn't make crime a fitting metaphor.

Well said, but I would make one small addition.

Civil law (things involving contracts, for example) are not about things that are illegal.* AFAIK, there is no legal expert, not a one, that says that what Hasbro was planning was illegal.

There has been a diversity of opinion as to what would happen if Hasbro attempted certain actions- deauthorizing, revoking, etc. But that would simply involve issues of possible liability and/or injunctive relief. Not illegality.



*Again, there are caveat, but none that would apply here.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Well said, but I would make one small addition.

Civil law (things involving contracts, for example) are not about things that are illegal.* AFAIK, there is no legal expert, not a one, that says that what Hasbro was planning was illegal.

Fair enough. I mean, it makes the analogies even more hyperbolic, and I had already gone with property or rights violations, so I'm good.
 

Imaro

Legend
Keeping the new system closed would not be worth an angry reaction, but it would make the new edition less interesting than the existing edition and reduce the amount of support it gets, which will reduce the amount of money it makes. How significant that will be is hard to say, but I don't see a way for them to make more money that way.

So let's break this out a little...

1. Why would people get mad if WotC decided to make the SRD for their future game closed as opposed to open? The OGL, the 5th edition CC all still exist... so what exactly would the anger be about? This feels like it's edging dangerously close into the realm of entitlement IMO.

2. Less interesting is purely subjective. But yes it would by it's very nature reduce the amount of support it gets... which does not necessarily reduce the amount of money it makes. If WotC can get enough people to buy into their ecosystem of DnD Beyond, VTT, etc for a subscription... they eliminate or at least reduce their dependency on supplemental books selling a certain amount (think Xbox and gamepass here). As opposed to having to deal with unpredictable spikes and drops, predicting what the market wants or doesn't want with supplements, and also the competition in the realm of supplemental material with those same 3pp's that are supposedly making them more money... they have instead created a relatively steady source of income that they can depend on and more importantly predict... that probably exceeds what they were making off the selling of individual books with the possible exception of the core rulebooks (which are going to sell regardless). They may make more money off a single book hjere or there but overall by tying people into an ecosystem they are making more over the longterm and in a more consistent manner.

2a. Now the above just touches on the games but the fact is that it will also eliminate the possible competition that might arise from everything from knockoff D&D videogames to knockoff tv shows and movies... in other words brand control. People claim WotC controls the brand but do they when a group like Critical Role has for all intents and purposes become synonymous with Dungeons and Dragons at this point? Vox Machina on Amazon is the Dungeons and Dragons tv show in everything but name. I don't think this is something even the creators of the OGL took into consideration, the fact that it could very well lead to loss of control over the actual brand even if it wasn't out of print or being mismanaged. Short term, the effect Critical Role has on D&D is great but long term as the brand is identified more and more with their particular show (and the Critical Role brand) that's not a good thing from Hasbro's perspective... and most definitely can lead to loss of money or even brand confusion through too strong of an association if someone/something like Critical Role branches out into their own ttrpg.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
So let's break this out a little...

1. Why would people get mad if WotC decided to make the SRD for their future game closed as opposed to open? The OGL, the 5th edition CC all still exist... so what exactly would the anger be about? This feels like it's edging dangerously close into the realm of entitlement IMO.

2. Less interesting is purely subjective. But yes it would by it's very nature reduce the amount of support it gets... which does not necessarily reduce the amount of money it makes. If WotC can get enough people to buy into their ecosystem of DnD Beyond, VTT, etc for a subscription... they eliminate or at least reduce their dependency on supplemental books selling a certain amount (think Xbox and gamepass here). As opposed to having to deal with unpredictable spikes and drops, predicting what the market wants or doesn't want with supplements, and also the competition in the realm of supplemental material with those same 3pp's that are supposedly making them more money... they have instead created a relatively steady source of income that they can depend on and more importantly predict... that probably exceeds what they were making off the selling of individual books with the possible exception of the core rulebooks (which are going to sell regardless). They may make more money off a single book hjere or there but overall by tying people into an ecosystem they are making more over the longterm and in a more consistent manner.

2a. Now the above just touches on the games but the fact is that it will also eliminate the possible competition that might arise from everything from knockoff D&D videogames to knockoff tv shows and movies... in other words brand control. People claim WotC controls the brand but do they when a group like Critical Role has for all intents and purposes become synonymous with Dungeons and Dragons at this point? Vox Machina on Amazon is the Dungeons and Dragons tv show in everything but name. I don't think this is something even the creators of the OGL took into consideration, the fact that it could very well lead to loss of control over the actual brand even if it wasn't out of print or being mismanaged. Short term, the effect Critical Role has on D&D is great but long term as the brand is identified more and more with their particular show (and the Critical Role brand) that's not a good thing from Hasbro's perspective... and most definitely can lead to loss of money or even brand confusion through too strong of an association if someone/something like Critical Role branches out into their own ttrpg.
1. I specifically said it would not be worth an angry reaction. It would just be disappointing.

2. They would lose some of the network effect the supported edition enjoys. At a minimum I see no way for them to get additional money from having a less-supported edition. "D&D, now with fewer options and poorer integration!" isn't a great sales pitch. It may not be significant as a negative effect.

2a. It eliminates no competition in these areas.
 

I'm feeling like these analogies go too far in both directions. They didn't commit a crime. They also didn't just "consider" something in their heads without affecting the community.

In their own admission:

"First, though, let me start with an apology. We are sorry. We got it wrong.

Our language and requirements in the draft OGL were disruptive to creators and not in support of our core goals of protecting and cultivating an inclusive play environment and limiting the OGL to TTRPGs. Then we compounded things by being silent for too long. We hurt fans and creators, when more frequent and clear communications could have prevented so much of this."

More than a "thoughtcrime" less than a "crime".
 

Here’s another analogy:

A parent raises a child for 20 years. Clothes and feeds the child, puts a roof over its head, nurtures and grows the child.

Then one day they ask the child to move out, telling them it’s time they find their own way in the world. If they want to keep living at home they’re going to have to start paying rent and contributing more to chores.

The child threatens to burn the house down if they aren’t allowed to stay under the same conditions they were always afforded.

I’m not saying this is what I think, just pointing out that just because you can make an uncharitable analogy doesn’t make it true or helpful.
 



Faolyn

(she/her)
All these analogies to crime when no actual crime happened.

The person walking down the street considered breaking into the house, but when the neighborhood watch came around the corner, thought better of it and left.
Would you invite this person over for tea, then, knowing that they were more than willing to damage your property and steal your belongings? If this person asked you for some cash, would you give it to them?
 

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